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Spanien Euro

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Die spanischen Euromünzen sind die in Spanien in Umlauf gebrachten Euromünzen der gemeinsamen europäischen Währung Euro. Am 1. Januar trat Spanien der Eurozone bei, womit die Einführung des Euros als zukünftiges Zahlungsmittel gültig wurde. Euro Münzen aus Spanien finden Sie bei Historia Hamburg. Wir handeln mit spanischen Münzen und Goldmünzen aus Europa und aller Welt. Die Motive der spanischen Euromünzen. 1 Euro und 2 Euro: Die Euro-Münzen zeigen ein Portrait vom spanischen König Juan Carlos I. 10 Cent, 20 Cent und. Spanische Euromünzen. Als frühes Mitglied der EU trat Spanien bereits der Eurozone bei und führte den Euro im Jahr als offizielles Zahlungsmittel. Euromünzen aus Spanien günstig bei MA-Shops kaufen | Gold | Silber | Kursmünzensätze | Blister | Gedenkmünzen.

Spanien Euro

Euros. Laut der Europäischen Union sind die Bezeichnung Euro und Cent unverändert auch im Plurals zu verwenden. In Spanien wird aber als Mehrzahl Euros. Die Motive der spanischen Euromünzen. 1 Euro und 2 Euro: Die Euro-Münzen zeigen ein Portrait vom spanischen König Juan Carlos I. 10 Cent, 20 Cent und. Euromünzen aus Spanien günstig bei MA-Shops kaufen | Gold | Silber | Kursmünzensätze | Blister | Gedenkmünzen.

Basques occupied the western area of the Pyrenees mountain range and adjacent areas, the Phoenician-influenced Tartessians culture flourished in the southwest and the Lusitanians and Vettones occupied areas in the central west.

A number of cities were founded along the coast by Phoenicians , and trading outposts and colonies were established by Greeks in the East.

Eventually, Phoenician- Carthaginians expanded inland towards the meseta; however, due to the bellicose inland tribes, the Carthaginians got settled in the coasts of the Iberian Peninsula.

Although it took the Romans nearly two centuries to complete the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula , they retained control of it for over six centuries.

Roman rule was bound together by law, language, and the Roman road. The cultures of the Celtic and Iberian populations were gradually Romanised Latinised at different rates depending on what part of Hispania they lived in, with local leaders being admitted into the Roman aristocratic class.

Agricultural production increased with the introduction of irrigation projects, some of which remain in use. The weakening of the Western Roman Empire's jurisdiction in Hispania began in , when the Germanic Suebi and Vandals , together with the Sarmatian Alans entered the peninsula at the invitation of a Roman usurper.

These tribes had crossed the Rhine in early and ravaged Gaul. The Suebi established a kingdom in what is today modern Galicia and northern Portugal whereas the Vandals established themselves in southern Spain by before crossing over to North Africa in and taking Carthage in As the western empire disintegrated, the social and economic base became greatly simplified: but even in modified form, the successor regimes maintained many of the institutions and laws of the late empire, including Christianity and assimilation to the evolving Roman culture.

The Byzantines established an occidental province, Spania , in the south, with the intention of reviving Roman rule throughout Iberia.

Eventually, however, Hispania was reunited under Visigothic rule. These Visigoths , or Western Goths, after sacking Rome under the leadership of Alaric , turned towards the Iberian Peninsula , with Athaulf for their leader, and occupied the northeastern portion.

Wallia extended his rule over most of the peninsula, keeping the Suebians shut up in Galicia. Euric , who put an end to the last remnants of Roman power in the peninsula, may be considered the first monarch of Spain, though the Suebians still maintained their independence in Galicia.

Euric was also the first king to give written laws to the Visigoths. In the following reigns the Catholic kings of France assumed the role of protectors of the Hispano-Roman Catholics against the Arianism of the Visigoths, and in the wars which ensued Alaric II and Amalaric lost their lives.

Athanagild , having risen against King Agila , called in the Byzantines and, in payment for the succour they gave him, ceded to them the maritime places of the southeast Liuvigild restored the political unity of the peninsula, subduing the Suebians, but the religious divisions of the country, reaching even the royal family, brought on a civil war.

Hermengild , the king's son, putting himself at the head of the Catholics, was defeated and taken prisoner, and suffered martyrdom for rejecting communion with the Arians.

Recared , son of Liuvigild and brother of St. Hermengild, added religious unity to the political unity achieved by his father, accepting the Catholic faith in the Third Council of Toledo The religious unity established by this council was the basis of that fusion of Goths with Hispano-Romans which produced the Spanish nation.

Sisebut and Suintila completed the expulsion of the Byzantines from Spain. Intermarriage between Visigoths and Hispano-Romans was prohibited, though in practice it could not be entirely prevented and was eventually legalised by Liuvigild.

Isidore was one of the most influential clerics and philosophers in the Middle Ages in Europe, and his theories were also vital to the conversion of the Visigothic Kingdom from an Arian domain to a Catholic one in the Councils of Toledo.

Isidore created the first western encyclopedia which had a huge impact during the Middle Ages. In the 8th century, nearly all of the Iberian Peninsula was conquered — by largely Moorish Muslim armies from North Africa.

These conquests were part of the expansion of the Umayyad Caliphate. Only a small area in the mountainous north-west of the peninsula managed to resist the initial invasion.

Legend has it that Count Julian , the governor of Ceuta, in revenge for the violation of his daughter, Florinda , by King Roderic , invited the Muslims and opened to them the gates of the peninsula.

Under Islamic law , Christians and Jews were given the subordinate status of dhimmi. This status permitted Christians and Jews to practice their religions as People of the Book but they were required to pay a special tax and had legal and social rights inferior to those of Muslims.

Conversion to Islam proceeded at an increasing pace. The Muslim community in the Iberian Peninsula was itself diverse and beset by social tensions.

The Berber people of North Africa, who had provided the bulk of the invading armies, clashed with the Arab leadership from the Middle East.

Mediterranean trade and cultural exchange flourished. Muslims imported a rich intellectual tradition from the Middle East and North Africa.

Some important philosophers at the time were Averroes , Ibn Arabi and Maimonides. The Romanised cultures of the Iberian Peninsula interacted with Muslim and Jewish cultures in complex ways, giving the region a distinctive culture.

In the 11th century, the Muslim holdings fractured into rival Taifa states Arab, Berber, and Slav , [39] allowing the small Christian states the opportunity to greatly enlarge their territories.

This re-united Islamic state experienced more than a century of successes that partially reversed Christian gains. The Reconquista Reconquest was the centuries-long period in which Christian rule was re-established over the Iberian Peninsula.

The Reconquista is viewed as beginning with the Battle of Covadonga won by Don Pelayo in and was concurrent with the period of Muslim rule on the Iberian Peninsula.

The Christian army's victory over Muslim forces led to the creation of the Christian Kingdom of Asturias along the northwestern coastal mountains.

Shortly after, in , Muslim forces were driven from Galicia , which was to eventually host one of medieval Europe's holiest sites, Santiago de Compostela and was incorporated into the new Christian kingdom.

The Kingdom of Castile , formed from Leonese territory, was its successor as strongest kingdom. The kings and the nobility fought for power and influence in this period.

The example of the Roman emperors influenced the political objective of the Crown, while the nobles benefited from feudalism. Muslim armies had also moved north of the Pyrenees but they were defeated by Frankish forces at the Battle of Poitiers , Frankia and pushed out of the very southernmost region of France along the seacoast by the s.

Later, Frankish forces established Christian counties on the southern side of the Pyrenees. These areas were to grow into the kingdoms of Navarre and Aragon.

The Islamic transmission of the classics is the main Islamic contributions to Medieval Europe. The Castilian language—more commonly known especially later in history and at present as "Spanish" after becoming the national language and lingua franca of Spain—evolved from Vulgar Latin , as did other Romance languages of Spain like the Catalan , Asturian and Galician languages, as well as other Romance languages in Latin Europe.

The break-up of Al-Andalus into the competing taifa kingdoms helped the long embattled Iberian Christian kingdoms gain the initiative.

The capture of the strategically central city of Toledo in marked a significant shift in the balance of power in favour of the Christian kingdoms.

The County of Barcelona and the Kingdom of Aragon entered in a dynastic union and gained territory and power in the Mediterranean.

In Majorca was conquered, so was Valencia in In the 13th and 14th centuries, the Marinid dynasty of Morocco invaded and established some enclaves on the southern coast but failed in their attempt to re-establish North African rule in Iberia and were soon driven out.

From the mid 13th century, literature and philosophy started to flourish again in the Christian peninsular kingdoms, based on Roman and Gothic traditions.

An important philosopher from this time is Ramon Llull. Abraham Cresques was a prominent Jewish cartographer. Roman law and its institutions were the model for the legislators.

The king Alfonso X of Castile focused on strengthening this Roman and Gothic past, and also on linking the Iberian Christian kingdoms with the rest of medieval European Christendom.

Alfonso worked for being elected emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and published the Siete Partidas code.

The Toledo School of Translators is the name that commonly describes the group of scholars who worked together in the city of Toledo during the 12th and 13th centuries, to translate many of the philosophical and scientific works from Classical Arabic , Ancient Greek , and Ancient Hebrew.

The 13th century also witnessed the Crown of Aragon , centred in Spain's north east, expand its reach across islands in the Mediterranean, to Sicily and Naples.

The Black Death of and devastated Spain. Having conquered these, they turned their arms against the Byzantines, who treacherously slew their leaders; but for this treachery the Spaniards, under Bernard of Rocafort and Berenguer of Entenca, exacted the terrible penalty celebrated in history as "The Catalan Vengeance" and moreover seized the Frankish Duchy of Athens As in the rest of Europe during the Late Middle Ages, Antisemitism greatly increased during the 14th century in the Christian kingdoms a key event in that regard was the Black Death, as Jews were accused of poisoning the waters.

In , Christian mobs went from town to town throughout Castile and Aragon, killing an estimated 50, Jews. According to Hasdai Crescas , about 70 Jewish communities were destroyed.

That same year, Spain's Jews were ordered to convert to Catholicism or face expulsion from Spanish territories during the Spanish Inquisition.

The Treaty of Granada guaranteed religious tolerance towards Muslims, [63] for a few years before Islam was outlawed in in the Kingdom of Castile and in the Kingdom of Aragon, leading to Spain's Muslim population becoming nominally Christian Moriscos.

A few decades after the Morisco rebellion of Granada known as the War of the Alpujarras , a significant proportion of Spain's formerly-Muslim population was expelled, settling primarily in North Africa.

The year also marked the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the New World , during a voyage funded by Isabella. Columbus's first voyage crossed the Atlantic and reached the Caribbean Islands, beginning the European exploration and conquest of the Americas, although Columbus remained convinced that he had reached the Orient.

Large numbers of indigenous Americans died in battle against the Spaniards during the conquest, [68] while others died from various other causes.

Some scholars consider the initial period of the Spanish conquest — from Columbus's first landing in the Bahamas until the middle of the sixteenth century—as marking the most egregious case of genocide in the history of mankind.

Miscegenation was the rule between the native and the Spanish cultures and people. Juan Sebastian Elcano completed the first voyage around the world in human history, the Magellan-Elcano circumnavigation.

Augustine became a strategic defensive base for Spanish ships full of gold and silver sailing to Spain. The Spanish once again encountered Islam, but this time in Southeast Asia and in order to incorporate the Philippines , Spanish expeditions organised from newly Christianised Mexico had invaded the Philippine territories of the Sultanate of Brunei.

The Spanish considered the war with the Muslims of Brunei and the Philippines , a repeat of the Reconquista. The unification of the crowns of Aragon and Castile by the marriage of their sovereigns laid the basis for modern Spain and the Spanish Empire, although each kingdom of Spain remained a separate country socially, politically, legally, and in currency and language.

There were two big revolts against the new Habsburg monarch and the more authoritarian and imperial-style crown: Revolt of the Comuneros in Castile and Revolt of the Brotherhoods in Majorca and Valencia.

Germana de Foix also finished with the revolt in the Mediterranean. Habsburg Spain was one of the leading world powers throughout the 16th century and most of the 17th century, a position reinforced by trade and wealth from colonial possessions and became the world's leading maritime power.

Through exploration and conquest or royal marriage alliances and inheritance, the Spanish Empire expanded to include vast areas in the Americas, islands in the Asia-Pacific area, areas of Italy, cities in Northern Africa, as well as parts of what are now France, Germany, Belgium , Luxembourg , and the Netherlands.

The first circumnavigation of the world was carried out in — It was the first empire on which it was said that the sun never set.

This was an Age of Discovery , with daring explorations by sea and by land, the opening-up of new trade routes across oceans, conquests and the beginnings of European colonialism.

Spanish explorers brought back precious metals , spices, luxuries, and previously unknown plants, and played a leading part in transforming the European understanding of the globe.

The expansion of the empire caused immense upheaval in the Americas as the collapse of societies and empires and new diseases from Europe devastated American indigenous populations.

The rise of humanism , the Counter-Reformation and new geographical discoveries and conquests raised issues that were addressed by the intellectual movement now known as the School of Salamanca , which developed the first modern theories of what are now known as international law and human rights.

Juan Luis Vives was another prominent humanist during this period. Spain's 16th century maritime supremacy was demonstrated by the victory over the Ottomans at Lepanto in , and then after the setback of the Spanish Armada in , in a series of victories against England in the Anglo-Spanish War of — However, during the middle decades of the 17th century Spain's maritime power went into a long decline with mounting defeats against the United Provinces and then England; that by the s it was struggling grimly to defend its overseas possessions from pirates and privateers.

The Protestant Reformation dragged the kingdom ever more deeply into the mire of religiously charged wars. The result was a country forced into ever expanding military efforts across Europe and in the Mediterranean.

These conflicts drained it of resources and undermined the economy generally. Spain managed to hold on to most of the scattered Habsburg empire , and help the imperial forces of the Holy Roman Empire reverse a large part of the advances made by Protestant forces, but it was finally forced to recognise the separation of Portugal and the United Provinces, and eventually suffered some serious military reverses to France in the latter stages of the immensely destructive, Europe-wide Thirty Years' War.

The decline culminated in a controversy over succession to the throne which consumed the first years of the 18th century.

The War of the Spanish Succession was a wide-ranging international conflict combined with a civil war, and was to cost the kingdom its European possessions and its position as one of the leading powers on the Continent.

Long united only by the Crown, a true Spanish state was established when the first Bourbon king, Philip V , united the crowns of Castile and Aragon into a single state, abolishing many of the old regional privileges and laws.

The 18th century saw a gradual recovery and an increase in prosperity through much of the empire. The new Bourbon monarchy drew on the French system of modernising the administration and the economy.

Enlightenment ideas began to gain ground among some of the kingdom's elite and monarchy. Bourbon reformers created formal disciplined militias across the Atlantic.

Spain needed every hand it could take during the seemingly endless wars of the eighteenth century—the Spanish War of Succession or Queen Anne's War —13 , the War of Jenkins' Ear —42 which became the War of the Austrian Succession —48 , the Seven Years' War —63 and the Anglo-Spanish War —83 —and its new disciplined militias served around the Atlantic as needed.

In , Spain went to war against the revolutionary new French Republic as a member of the first Coalition. The subsequent War of the Pyrenees polarised the country in a reaction against the gallicised elites and following defeat in the field, peace was made with France in at the Peace of Basel in which Spain lost control over two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola.

In , a secret treaty between Napoleon and the unpopular prime minister led to a new declaration of war against Britain and Portugal.

Napoleon's troops entered the country to invade Portugal but instead occupied Spain's major fortresses.

The Spanish king abdicated in favour of Napoleon's brother, Joseph Bonaparte. Joseph Bonaparte was seen as a puppet monarch and was regarded with scorn by the Spanish.

The 2 May revolt was one of many nationalist uprisings across the country against the Bonapartist regime. Napoleon was forced to intervene personally, defeating several Spanish armies and forcing a British army to retreat.

However, further military action by Spanish armies, guerrillas and Wellington's British-Portuguese forces, combined with Napoleon's disastrous invasion of Russia , led to the ousting of the French imperial armies from Spain in , and the return of King Ferdinand VII.

These events foreshadowed the conflict between conservatives and liberals in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Spain's conquest by France benefited Latin American anti-colonialists who resented the Imperial Spanish government's policies that favoured Spanish-born citizens Peninsulars over those born overseas Criollos and demanded retroversion of the sovereignty to the people.

Starting in Spain's American colonies began a series of revolutions and declared independence, leading to the Spanish American wars of independence that ended Spanish control over its mainland colonies in the Americas.

King Ferdinand VII's attempt to re-assert control proved futile as he faced opposition not only in the colonies but also in Spain and army revolts followed, led by liberal officers.

The Napoleonic War left Spain economically ruined, deeply divided and politically unstable. Isabelline forces prevailed, but the conflict between progressives and moderates ended in a weak early constitutional period.

In the late 19th century nationalist movements arose in the Philippines and Cuba. In and the Cuban War of Independence and the Philippine Revolution broke out and eventually the United States became involved.

The Spanish—American War was fought in the spring of and resulted in Spain losing the last of its once vast colonial empire outside of North Africa.

El Desastre the Disaster , as the war became known in Spain, gave added impetus to the Generation of '98 who were conducting an analysis of the country.

Although the period around the turn of the century was one of increasing prosperity, the 20th century brought little social peace; Spain played a minor part in the scramble for Africa , with the colonisation of Western Sahara , Spanish Morocco and Equatorial Guinea.

The heavy losses suffered during the Rif War in Morocco brought discredit to the government and undermined the monarchy. Industrialisation, the development of rail-ways and incipient capitalism developed in several areas of the country, particularly in Barcelona , as well as Labour movement and socialist and anarchist ideas.

In , Spanish Socialist Workers' Party is founded. Catalanism and vasquism, alongside other nationalisms and regionalisms in Spain, arose in that period, being the Basque Nationalist Party formed in and Regionalist League of Catalonia in Political corruption and repression weakened the democratic system of the constitutional monarchy of a two-parties system.

The La Canadiense strike in led to the first law limiting the working day to eight hours. These gave a resounding victory to the Republican-Socialist candidacies in large cities and provincial capitals, with a majority of monarchist councilors in rural areas.

The king left the country and the proclamation of the Republic on 14 April ensued, with the formation of a provisional government. In the election held in the right triumphed and in , the left.

During the Second Republic there was a great political and social upheaval, marked by a sharp radicalization of the left and the right.

On the other hand, it is also during the Second Republic when important reforms in order to modernize the country were initiated: a democratic constitution, agrarian reform, restructuring of the army, political decentralization and women's right to vote.

The situation led to a civil war, in which the territory was divided into two zones: one under the authority of the Republican government , that counted on outside support from the Soviet Union and Mexico and from International Brigades , and the other controlled by the putschists the Nationalist or rebel faction , most critically supported by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.

The Republic was not supported by the Western powers due to the British-led policy of non-intervention. General Francisco Franco was sworn in as the supreme leader of the rebels in the Autumn of An uneasy relation between the Republican government and the grassroots anarchists who had initiated a partial Social revolution also ensued.

The civil war was viciously fought and there were many atrocities committed by all sides. The war claimed the lives of over , people and caused the flight of up to a half-million citizens from the country.

The regime remained chiefly "neutral" from a nominal standpoint in the Second World War it briefly switched its position to "non-belligerent" , although it was sympathetic to the Axis and provided the Nazi Wehrmacht with Spanish volunteers in the Eastern Front.

The name of " Movimiento Nacional ", sometimes understood as a wider structure than the FET y de las JONS proper, largely imposed over the later's name in official documents along the s.

This changed in , during the Cold War period, when it became strategically important for the US to establish a military presence on the Iberian Peninsula as a counter to any possible move by the Soviet Union into the Mediterranean basin.

In the s, Spain registered an unprecedented rate of economic growth which was propelled by industrialisation , a mass internal migration from rural areas to Madrid , Barcelona and the Basque Country and the creation of a mass tourism industry.

Franco's rule was also characterised by authoritarianism , promotion of a unitary national identity , National Catholicism , and discriminatory language policies.

The conventional explosives in two of the Mk28 -type hydrogen bombs detonated upon impact with the ground, dispersing plutonium over nearby farms.

In , a group of politicians involved in the opposition to Franco's regime inside the country and in exile met in the congress of the European Movement in Munich, where they made a resolution in favour of democracy.

With Franco's death in November , Juan Carlos succeeded to the position of King of Spain and head of state in accordance with the franquist law.

With the approval of the new Spanish Constitution of and the restoration of democracy , the State devolved much authority to the regions and created an internal organisation based on autonomous communities.

The Spanish Amnesty Law let people of Franco's regime continue inside institutions without consequences, even perpetrators of some crimes during transition to democracy like the Massacre of 3 March in Vitoria or Massacre of Atocha.

In the Basque Country, moderate Basque nationalism coexisted with a radical nationalist movement led by the armed organisation ETA until the latter's dissolution in May On 23 February , rebel elements among the security forces seized the Cortes in an attempt to impose a military-backed government.

King Juan Carlos took personal command of the military and successfully ordered the coup plotters, via national television, to surrender.

During the s the democratic restoration made possible a growing open society. On 1 January , Spain fully adopted the euro , and Spain experienced strong economic growth, well above the EU average during the early s.

However, well-publicised concerns issued by many economic commentators at the height of the boom warned that extraordinary property prices and a high foreign trade deficit were likely to lead to a painful economic collapse.

In the Prestige oil spill occurred with big ecological consequences along Spain's Atlantic coastline. Bush in the Iraq War , and a strong movement against war rose in Spanish society.

On 11 March a local Islamist terrorist group inspired by Al-Qaeda carried out the largest terrorist attack in Spanish history when they killed people and wounded more than 1, others by bombing commuter trains in Madrid.

Because of the proximity of the election , the issue of responsibility quickly became a political controversy, with the main competing parties PP and PSOE exchanging accusations over the handling of the incident.

The proportion of Spain's foreign born population increased rapidly during its economic boom in the early s, but then declined due to the financial crisis.

Government talks with ETA happened, and the group announced its permanent cease of violence in The bursting of the Spanish property bubble in led to the —16 Spanish financial crisis.

High levels of unemployment, cuts in government spending and corruption in Royal family and People's Party served as a backdrop to the —12 Spanish protests.

In , Mariano Rajoy 's conservative People's Party won the election with A Catalan independence referendum was held on 1 October and then, on 27 October, the Catalan parliament voted to unilaterally declare independence from Spain to form a Catalan Republic [] [] on the day the Spanish Senate was discussing approving direct rule over Catalonia as called for by the Spanish Prime Minister.

On 25 March, the death toll in Spain was the second highest in the world. Mount Teide Tenerife is the highest mountain peak in Spain and is the third largest volcano in the world from its base.

Spain is a transcontinental country , having territory in both Europe and Africa. On the northeast, along the Pyrenees mountain range, it is bordered by France and the Principality of Andorra.

Mainland Spain is a mountainous country, dominated by high plateaus and mountain chains. The Meseta Central often translated as "Inner Plateau" is a vast plateau in the heart of peninsular Spain.

Alluvial plains are found along the coast, the largest of which is that of the Guadalquivir in Andalusia.

Three main climatic zones can be separated, according to geographical situation and orographic conditions: [] [] []. Low-lying areas of the Canary Islands average above The fauna presents a wide diversity that is due in large part to the geographical position of the Iberian peninsula between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean and between Africa and Eurasia , and the great diversity of habitats and biotopes , the result of a considerable variety of climates and well differentiated regions.

The vegetation of Spain is varied due to several factors including the diversity of the relief, the climate and latitude. Spain includes different phytogeographic regions, each with its own floristic characteristics resulting largely from the interaction of climate, topography, soil type and fire, biotic factors.

The Spanish Constitution of is the culmination of the Spanish transition to democracy. The constitutional history of Spain dates back to the constitution of As a result, Spain is now composed of 17 autonomous communities and two autonomous cities with varying degrees of autonomy thanks to its Constitution, which nevertheless explicitly states the indivisible unity of the Spanish nation.

The constitution also specifies that Spain has no state religion and that all are free to practice and believe as they wish.

The Spanish administration approved the Gender Equality Act in aimed at furthering equality between genders in Spanish political and economic life.

Spain is a constitutional monarchy , with a hereditary monarch and a bicameral parliament , the Cortes Generales General Courts. The legislative branch is made up of the Congress of Deputies Congreso de los Diputados , a lower house with members, elected by popular vote on block lists by proportional representation to serve four-year terms, and the Senate Senado , an upper house with seats of which are directly elected by popular vote, using a limited voting method, and the other 51 appointed by the regional legislatures to also serve four-year terms.

The executive branch consists of a Council of Ministers presided over by the Prime Minister, who is nominated as candidate by the monarch after holding consultations with representatives from the different parliamentary groups, voted in by the members of the lower house during an investiture session and then formally appointed by the monarch.

The Prime Minister, deputy prime ministers and the rest of ministers convene at the Council of Ministers.

Health and education systems among others are managed by the Spanish communities, and in addition, the Basque Country and Navarre also manage their own public finances based on foral provisions.

The Spanish Constitution of "protect all Spaniards and all the peoples of Spain in the exercise of human rights, their cultures and traditions, languages and institutions".

According to Amnesty International AI , government investigations of alleged police abuses are often lengthy and punishments were light. Spain provides one of the highest degrees of liberty in the world for its LGBT community.

The Spanish State is divided into 17 autonomous communities and 2 autonomous cities, both groups being the highest or first-order administrative division in the country.

Autonomous communities are divided into provinces, of which there are 50 in total, and in turn, provinces are divided into municipalities.

In Catalonia, two additional divisions exist, the comarques sing. The concept of a comarca exists in all autonomous communities, however, unlike Catalonia, these are merely historical or geographical subdivisions.

Spain's autonomous communities are the first level administrative divisions of the country. They were created after the current constitution came into effect in in recognition of the right to self-government of the " nationalities and regions of Spain ".

This territorial organisation, based on devolution , is literally known in Spain as the "State of Autonomies". The basic institutional law of each autonomous community is the Statute of Autonomy.

The Statutes of Autonomy establish the name of the community according to its historical and contemporary identity, the limits of its territories, the name and organisation of the institutions of government and the rights they enjoy according to the constitution.

Catalonia, Galicia and the Basque Country, which identified themselves as nationalities , were granted self-government through a rapid process.

Andalusia also took that denomination in its first Statute of Autonomy, even though it followed the longer process stipulated in the constitution for the rest of the country.

Progressively, other communities in revisions to their Statutes of Autonomy have also taken that denomination in accordance to their historical and modern identities, such as the Valencian Community, [] the Canary Islands, [] the Balearic Islands, [] and Aragon.

The autonomous communities have wide legislative and executive autonomy, with their own parliaments and regional governments.

The distribution of powers may be different for every community, as laid out in their Statutes of Autonomy, since devolution was intended to be asymmetrical.

Only two communities—the Basque Country and Navarre—have full fiscal autonomy. Beyond fiscal autonomy, the nationalities —Andalusia, the Basque Country, Catalonia, and Galicia—were devolved more powers than the rest of the communities, among them the ability of the regional president to dissolve the parliament and call for elections at any time.

Nonetheless, recent amendments to existing Statutes of Autonomy or the promulgation of new Statutes altogether, have reduced the asymmetry between the powers originally granted to the nationalities and the rest of the regions.

Finally, along with the 17 autonomous communities, two autonomous cities are also part of the State of Autonomies and are first-order territorial divisions: Ceuta and Melilla.

These are two exclaves located in the northern African coast. Autonomous communities are divided into provinces , which served as their territorial building blocks.

In turn, provinces are divided into municipalities. The existence of both the provinces and the municipalities is guaranteed and protected by the constitution, not necessarily by the Statutes of Autonomy themselves.

Municipalities are granted autonomy to manage their internal affairs, and provinces are the territorial divisions designed to carry out the activities of the State.

The current provincial division structure is based—with minor changes—on the territorial division by Javier de Burgos , and in all, the Spanish territory is divided into 50 provinces.

The communities of Asturias, Cantabria, La Rioja, the Balearic Islands, Madrid, Murcia and Navarre are the only communities that comprise a single province, which is coextensive with the community itself.

In these cases, the administrative institutions of the province are replaced by the governmental institutions of the community. After the return of democracy following the death of Franco in , Spain's foreign policy priorities were to break out of the diplomatic isolation of the Franco years and expand diplomatic relations , enter the European Community , and define security relations with the West.

As a member of NATO since , Spain has established itself as a participant in multilateral international security activities.

Spain's EU membership represents an important part of its foreign policy. Even on many international issues beyond western Europe, Spain prefers to co-ordinate its efforts with its EU partners through the European political co-operation mechanisms.

Spain has maintained its special relations with Hispanic America and the Philippines. Its policy emphasises the concept of an Ibero-American community, essentially the renewal of the concept of " Hispanidad " or " Hispanismo " , as it is often referred to in English, which has sought to link the Iberian Peninsula with Hispanic America through language, commerce, history and culture.

It is fundamentally "based on shared values and the recovery of democracy. Spain claims Gibraltar , a 6-square-kilometre 2.

Then a Spanish town, it was conquered by an Anglo-Dutch force in during the War of the Spanish Succession on behalf of Archduke Charles , pretender to the Spanish throne.

The legal situation concerning Gibraltar was settled in by the Treaty of Utrecht , in which Spain ceded the territory in perpetuity to the British Crown [] stating that, should the British abandon this post, it would be offered to Spain first.

Since the s Spain has called for the return of Gibraltar. The overwhelming majority of Gibraltarians strongly oppose this, along with any proposal of shared sovereignty.

The Spanish claim makes a distinction between the isthmus that connects the Rock to the Spanish mainland on the one hand, and the Rock and city of Gibraltar on the other.

While the Rock and city were ceded by the Treaty of Utrecht, Spain asserts that the "occupation of the isthmus is illegal and against the principles of International Law ".

Another claim by Spain is about the Savage Islands , part of Portugal. In clash with the Portuguese position, Spain claims that they are rocks rather than islands, and therefore Spain does not accept any extension of the Portuguese Exclusive Economic Zone nautical miles generated by the islands, while acknowledging the Selvagens having territorial waters 12 nautical miles.

On 5 July , Spain sent a letter to the UN expressing these views. Spain claims the sovereignty over the Perejil Island , a small, uninhabited rocky islet located in the South shore of the Strait of Gibraltar.

Its sovereignty is disputed between Spain and Morocco. It was the subject of an armed incident between the two countries in The incident ended when both countries agreed to return to the status quo ante which existed prior to the Moroccan occupation of the island.

The islet is now deserted and without any sign of sovereignty. Portugal does not recognise Spain's sovereignty over the territory of Olivenza which was annexed by Spain in after the War of the Oranges.

Portugal stance has been the territory being de iure Portuguese territory and de facto Spanish. The Spanish Armed Forces are divided into three branches: [].

Military conscription was suppressed in Since , CO2 emissions have risen notably, not reaching the reduction emissions promised in the Kyoto Protocol for fighting climate change.

In the period — more than half of the years have been qualified as dry or very dry. Spain is the country in Europe more exposed to climate change effects, according to Al Gore.

Electricity from renewable sources in Spain represented The country has a very large wind power capability built up over many years and is one of the world leaders in wind power generation.

Spain also positioned itself as a European leader in Solar power, by — the country was second only to Germany in installed capacity. Spain's capitalist mixed economy is the 14th largest worldwide and the 5th largest in the European Union , as well as the Eurozone 's 4th largest.

Unemployment stood at By the mids the economy had commenced the growth that had been disrupted by the global recession of the early s. The strong economic growth helped the government to reduce the government debt as a percentage of GDP and Spain's high unemployment rate began to steadily decline.

With the government budget in balance and inflation under control Spain was admitted into the Eurozone in Since the s some Spanish companies have gained multinational status, often expanding their activities in culturally close Latin America.

Spain is the second biggest foreign investor there, after the United States. Spanish companies have also expanded into Asia, especially China and India.

The reason for this early expansion is the booming interest towards Spanish language and culture in Asia and Africa and a corporate culture that learned to take risks in unstable markets.

In the Economist Intelligence Unit 's quality of life survey placed Spain among the top 10 in the world. The automotive industry is one of the largest employers in the country.

In Spain was the 8th largest automobile producer country in the world and the 2nd largest car manufacturer in Europe after Germany. By , the automotive industry was generating 8.

Crop areas were farmed in two highly diverse manners. They included the humid regions of the north and the northwest, as well as vast arid zones that had not been irrigated.

More than half of the irrigated area was planted in corn , fruit trees , and vegetables. Other agricultural products that benefited from irrigation included grapes, cotton, sugar beets , potatoes, legumes , olive trees , mangos, strawberries , tomatoes, and fodder grasses.

Citrus fruits , vegetables, cereal grains , olive oil , and wine—Spain's traditional agricultural products—continued to be important in the s.

Because of the changed diet of an increasingly affluent population, there was a notable increase in the consumption of livestock, poultry, and dairy products.

Increased attention to livestock was the reason that Spain became a net importer of grains. Ideal growing conditions, combined with proximity to important north European markets, made citrus fruits Spain's leading export.

Fresh vegetables and fruits produced through intensive irrigation farming also became important export commodities, as did sunflower seed oil that was produced to compete with the more expensive olive oils in oversupply throughout the Mediterranean countries of the European Community.

In , Spain was the second most visited country in the world, recording 82 million tourists which marked the fifth consecutive year of record-beating numbers.

Spain's geographic location, popular coastlines, diverse landscapes, historical legacy, vibrant culture, and excellent infrastructure has made the country's international tourist industry among the largest in the world.

Castile and Leon is the Spanish leader in rural tourism linked to its environmental and architectural heritage.

Spain is one of the world's leading countries in the development and production of renewable energy. Non-renewable energy sources used in Spain are nuclear 8 operative reactors , gas , coal , and oil.

Spain has the most extensive high-speed rail network in Europe, and the second-most extensive in the world after China. There are 47 public airports in Spain.

Also, more than 30 airports with the number of passengers below 4 million. In the 19th and 20th centuries, science in Spain was held back by severe political instability and consequent economic underdevelopment.

Despite the conditions, some important scientists and engineers emerged. It ranked as the 5th top governmental scientific institution worldwide and 32nd overall in the SCImago Institutions Rankings.

Since , the Mobile World Congress has taken place in Barcelona. With the exception of the region surrounding the capital, Madrid , the most populated areas lie around the coast.

In , the average total fertility rate TFR across Spain was 1. In , Spain granted citizenship to 84, persons, mostly to people from Ecuador, Colombia and Morocco.

They reside primarily on the Mediterranean coast and the Balearic islands, where many choose to live their retirement or telecommute.

Substantial populations descended from Spanish colonists and immigrants exist in other parts of the world, most notably in Latin America.

Beginning in the late 15th century, large numbers of Iberian colonists settled in what became Latin America and at present most white Latin Americans who make up about one-third of Latin America's population are of Spanish or Portuguese origin.

Around , Spaniards emigrated in the 16th century, mostly to Peru and Mexico. During the same period perhaps , went to Latin America. The Spanish Constitution of , in its second article, recognises several contemporary entities — nationalities — [m] and regions, within the context of the Spanish nation.

Spain has been described as a de facto plurinational state. In some cases some of the territorial identities may conflict with the dominant Spanish culture.

Distinct traditional identities within Spain include the Basques , Catalans , Galicians , Andalusians and Valencians , [] although to some extent all of the 17 autonomous communities may claim a distinct local identity.

It is this last feature of "shared identity" between the more local level or autonomous community and the Spanish level which makes the identity question in Spain complex and far from univocal.

Spain has a number of descendants of populations from former colonies, especially Latin America and North Africa. Smaller numbers of immigrants from several Sub-Saharan countries have recently been settling in Spain.

There are also sizeable numbers of Asian immigrants, most of whom are of Middle Eastern, South Asian and Chinese origin. The single largest group of immigrants are European; represented by large numbers of Romanians, Britons, Germans , French and others.

The arrival of the gitanos , a Romani people , began in the 16th century; estimates of the Spanish Roma population range from , to over one million.

Their origin is unclear. Historically, Sephardi Jews and Moriscos are the main minority groups originated in Spain and with a contribution to Spanish culture.

According to the Spanish government there were 5. According to residence permit data for , more than , were Romanian, about , were Moroccan , approximately , were British, and , were Ecuadorian.

This sudden and ongoing inflow of immigrants, particularly those arriving illegally by sea, has caused noticeable social tension.

Within the EU, Spain had the 2nd highest immigration rate in percentage terms after Cyprus , but by a great margin, the highest in absolute numbers, up to Another statistically significant factor is the large number of residents of EU origin typically retiring to Spain's Mediterranean coast.

In fact, Spain was Europe's largest absorber of migrants from to , with its immigrant population more than doubling as 2. In , the government instituted a "Plan of Voluntary Return" which encouraged unemployed immigrants from outside the EU to return to their home countries and receive several incentives, including the right to keep their unemployment benefits and transfer whatever they contributed to the Spanish Social Security.

In alone, more than half a million people left Spain. Spain is legally multilingual, [] and the constitution establishes that the nation will protect "all Spaniards and the peoples of Spain in the exercise of human rights, their cultures and traditions, languages and institutions.

The constitution also establishes that "the other Spanish languages"—that is, the other languages of Spain—will also be official in their respective autonomous communities in accordance to their Statutes , their organic regional legislations, and that the "richness of the distinct linguistic modalities of Spain represents a patrimony which will be the object of special respect and protection.

Occitan is spoken by less than 5, people, only in the small region of Val d'Aran. In the North African Spanish autonomous city of Melilla , Riff Berber is spoken by a significant part of the population.

Similarly, in Ceuta Darija Arabic is spoken by a significant percentage of the population. In the tourist areas of the Mediterranean coast and the islands, English and German are widely spoken by tourists, foreign residents, and tourism workers.

State education in Spain is free and compulsory from the age of six to sixteen. The institute was inspired by the philosophy of Krausism.

The health care system of Spain Spanish National Health System is considered one of the best in the world, in 7th position in the ranking elaborated by the World Health Organization.

Roman Catholicism , which has a long history in Spain, remains the dominant religion. Although it no longer has official status by law, in all public schools in Spain students have to choose either a religion or ethics class.

Catholicism is the religion most commonly taught, although the teaching of Islam, [] Judaism, [] and evangelical Christianity [] is also recognised in law.

Most Spaniards do not participate regularly in religious services. The Spanish constitution enshrines secularism in governance, as well as freedom of religion or belief for all, saying that no religion should have a "state character," while allowing for the state to "cooperate" with religious groups.

There have been four Spanish Popes. Later, they became Doctors of the Church. The Society of Jesus was co-founded by Ignatius of Loyola , whose Spiritual Exercises and movement led to the establishment of hundreds of colleges and universities in the world, including 28 in the United States alone.

Protestant churches have about 1,, members. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has approximately 46, adherents in congregations in all regions of the country and has a temple in the Moratalaz District of Madrid.

The vast majority was composed of immigrants and descendants originating from Morocco and other African countries. The recent waves of immigration have also led to an increasing number of Hindus , Buddhists , Sikhs and Muslims.

After the Reconquista in , Muslims did not live in Spain for centuries. Late 19th-century colonial expansion in northwestern Africa gave a number of residents in Spanish Morocco and Western Sahara full citizenship.

Their ranks have since been bolstered by recent immigration, especially from Morocco and Algeria. Judaism was practically non-existent in Spain from the expulsion until the 19th century, when Jews were again permitted to enter the country.

Currently there are around 62, Jews in Spain, or 0. Most are arrivals in the past century, while some are descendants of earlier Spanish Jews.

Approximately 80, Jews are thought to have lived in Spain prior to its expulsion. Other sources suggest , converts mostly after the pogroms of and upwards of , expelled.

Descendants of these Sephardic Jews expelled in are given Spanish nationality if they request it. Spain is a Western country.

Almost every aspect of Spanish life is permeated by its Roman heritage, making Spain one of the major Latin countries of Europe.

Spanish culture is marked by strong historic ties to Catholicism, which played a pivotal role in the country's formation and subsequent identity.

Spanish art, architecture, cuisine, and music have been shaped by successive waves of foreign invaders, as well as by the country's Mediterranean climate and geography.

The centuries-long colonial era globalised Spanish language and culture, with Spain also absorbing the cultural and commercial products of its diverse empire.

Spain has 47 World Heritage Sites. The earliest recorded examples of vernacular Romance-based literature date from the same time and location, the rich mix of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian cultures in Muslim Spain, in which Maimonides, Averroes, and others worked, the Kharjas Jarchas.

During the Reconquista , the epic poem Cantar de Mio Cid was written about a real man—his battles, conquests, and daily life.

The Valencian chivalric romance Tirant lo Blanch written in Valencian is also remarkable. The Baroque is the most important period for Spanish culture.

We are in the times of the Spanish Empire. Realism offered depictions of contemporary life and society 'as they were'. In the spirit of general "Realism", Realist authors opted for depictions of everyday and banal activities and experiences, instead of romanticised or stylised presentations.

The group that has become known as the Generation of was marked by the destruction of Spain's fleet in Cuba by US gunboats in , which provoked a cultural crisis in Spain.

The "Disaster" of led established writers to seek practical political, economic, and social solutions in essays grouped under the literary heading of Regeneracionismo.

The Generation of or Novecentismo. The next supposed "generation" of Spanish writers following those of '98 already calls into question the value of such terminology.

While still driven by the national and existential questions that obsessed the writers of '98, they approached these topics with a greater sense of distance and objectivity.

Salvador de Madariaga , another prominent intellectual and writer, was one of the founders of the College of Europe and the composer of the constitutive manifest of the Liberal International.

All were scholars of their national literary heritage, again evidence of the impact of the calls of regeneracionistas and the Generation of for Spanish intelligence to turn at least partially inwards.

Spain is one of the countries with the most number of laureates with the Nobel Prize in Literature , and with Latin American laureates they made the Spanish language literature one of the most laureates of all.

Saramago was also well known by his Iberist ideas. The Generation of '50 are also known as the children of the civil war.

Seneca was a philosopher residing in Spain during the time of the Roman Empire. During the period of Muslim rule in Al-Andalus , Muslim, Jewish and Christian philosophies flourished, including the works of such philosophers such as Ibn Arabi , Averroes and Maimonides.

The Enlightenment in Spain arrived later and was less strong than in other European countries, but during the XIX century liberal ideas arrived in Spanish society.

At the end of the century, socialist and libertarian ideas also flourished, with thinkers such as Francisco Pi i Margall , Ricardo Mella and Francisco Ferrer Guardia.

Contemporary philosophers include Fernando Savater and Adela Cortina , creator of the term aporophobia. Artists from Spain have been highly influential in the development of various European and American artistic movements.

Due to historical, geographical and generational diversity, Spanish art has known a great number of influences.

The Mediterranean heritage with Greco-Roman and some Moorish and influences in Spain, especially in Andalusia , is still evident today.

There are many other autochthonous styles such as the Pre-Romanesque art and architecture , Herrerian architecture or the Isabelline Gothic.

Francisco Goya painted during a historical period that includes the Spanish Independence War , the fights between liberals and absolutists, and the rise of contemporary nations-states.

The Plateresque style extended from beginnings of the 16th century until the last third of the century and its stylistic influence pervaded the works of all great Spanish artists of the time.

Spanish cinema has achieved major international success including Oscars for recent films such as Pan's Labyrinth and Volver.

Due to its historical and geographical diversity, Spanish architecture has drawn from a host of influences. Simultaneously, the Christian kingdoms gradually emerged and developed their own styles; developing a pre-Romanesque style when for a while isolated from contemporary mainstream European architectural influences during the earlier Middle Ages, they later integrated the Romanesque and Gothic streams.

There was then an extraordinary flowering of the Gothic style that resulted in numerous instances being built throughout the entire territory. The arrival of Modernism in the academic arena produced much of the architecture of the 20th century.

Spain is currently experiencing a revolution in contemporary architecture and Spanish architects like Rafael Moneo , Santiago Calatrava , Ricardo Bofill as well as many others have gained worldwide renown.

Spanish music is often considered abroad to be synonymous with flamenco , a West Andalusian musical genre, which, contrary to popular belief, is not widespread outside that region.

Pop, rock, hip hop and heavy metal are also popular. Vitoria-Gasteiz jazz festival is one of the main ones on its genre.

The most popular traditional musical instrument , the guitar, originated in Spain. Cibeles Madrid Fashion Week is one of the most important fashion weeks in Europe.

Spanish cuisine consists of a great variety of dishes which stem from differences in geography, culture and climate. It is heavily influenced by seafood available from the waters that surround the country, and reflects the country's deep Mediterranean roots.

Spain's extensive history with many cultural influences has led to a unique cuisine. In particular, three main divisions are easily identified:.

Food is traditionally conserved by salting, such as Spanish ham , or immersed in olive oil , such as Manchego cheese.

Atlantic Spain — the whole Northern coast, including Asturian , Basque , Cantabrian and Galician cuisine — vegetable and fish-based stews like caldo gallego and marmitako.

While varieties of football have been played in Spain as far back as Roman times, sport in Spain has been dominated by football since the early 20th century.

Real Madrid C. Basketball , tennis , cycling, handball , futsal , motorcycling and, lately, Formula One also can boast of Spanish champions.

Today, Spain is a major world sports powerhouse, especially since the Summer Olympics that were hosted in Barcelona , which stimulated a great deal of interest in sports in the country.

The tourism industry has led to an improvement in sports infrastructure, especially for water sports , golf and skiing.

In their respective regions, the traditional games of Basque pelota and Valencian pilota both are popular.

Public holidays celebrated in Spain include a mix of religious Roman Catholic , national and regional observances.

Each municipality is allowed to declare a maximum of 14 public holidays per year; up to nine of these are chosen by the national government and at least two are chosen locally.

There are many festivals and festivities in Spain. Some of them are known worldwide, and every year millions of people from all over the world go to Spain to experience one of these festivals.

Its events were central to the plot of The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway , which brought it to the general attention of English-speaking people.

As a result, it has become one of the most internationally renowned fiestas in Spain, with over 1,, people attending every year.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the country. For other uses, see Spain disambiguation.

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Mädchen am Fenster. During the early Middle Ages it came under Visigothic rule, and then much of it was conquered by Muslim invaders from North Africa.

In a process that took centuries , the small Christian kingdoms in the north gradually regained control of the peninsula.

The last Muslim state fell in , the same year Columbus reached the Americas. A global empire began which saw Spain become the strongest kingdom in Europe, the leading world power for a century and a half, and the largest overseas empire for three centuries.

Continued wars and other problems eventually led to a diminished status. The Napoleonic conflict in Spain led to chaos, triggering independence movements that tore apart most of the empire and left the country politically unstable.

Spain suffered a devastating civil war in the s and then came under the rule of an authoritarian government , which oversaw a period of stagnation that was followed by a surge in the growth of the economy.

Eventually democracy was restored in the form of a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Spain joined the European Union, experiencing a cultural renaissance and steady economic growth until the beginning of the 21st century, that started a new globalised world with economic and ecological challenges.

Archaeological research at Atapuerca indicates the Iberian Peninsula was populated by hominids 1. Modern humans first arrived in Iberia, from the north on foot, about 35, years ago.

The largest groups inhabiting the Iberian Peninsula before the Roman conquest were the Iberians and the Celts. The Iberians inhabited the Mediterranean side of the peninsula, from the northeast to the southeast.

The Celts inhabited much of the inner and Atlantic sides of the peninsula, from the northwest to the southwest.

Basques occupied the western area of the Pyrenees mountain range and adjacent areas, the Phoenician-influenced Tartessians culture flourished in the southwest and the Lusitanians and Vettones occupied areas in the central west.

A number of cities were founded along the coast by Phoenicians , and trading outposts and colonies were established by Greeks in the East.

Eventually, Phoenician- Carthaginians expanded inland towards the meseta; however, due to the bellicose inland tribes, the Carthaginians got settled in the coasts of the Iberian Peninsula.

Although it took the Romans nearly two centuries to complete the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula , they retained control of it for over six centuries.

Roman rule was bound together by law, language, and the Roman road. The cultures of the Celtic and Iberian populations were gradually Romanised Latinised at different rates depending on what part of Hispania they lived in, with local leaders being admitted into the Roman aristocratic class.

Agricultural production increased with the introduction of irrigation projects, some of which remain in use. The weakening of the Western Roman Empire's jurisdiction in Hispania began in , when the Germanic Suebi and Vandals , together with the Sarmatian Alans entered the peninsula at the invitation of a Roman usurper.

These tribes had crossed the Rhine in early and ravaged Gaul. The Suebi established a kingdom in what is today modern Galicia and northern Portugal whereas the Vandals established themselves in southern Spain by before crossing over to North Africa in and taking Carthage in As the western empire disintegrated, the social and economic base became greatly simplified: but even in modified form, the successor regimes maintained many of the institutions and laws of the late empire, including Christianity and assimilation to the evolving Roman culture.

The Byzantines established an occidental province, Spania , in the south, with the intention of reviving Roman rule throughout Iberia.

Eventually, however, Hispania was reunited under Visigothic rule. These Visigoths , or Western Goths, after sacking Rome under the leadership of Alaric , turned towards the Iberian Peninsula , with Athaulf for their leader, and occupied the northeastern portion.

Wallia extended his rule over most of the peninsula, keeping the Suebians shut up in Galicia. Euric , who put an end to the last remnants of Roman power in the peninsula, may be considered the first monarch of Spain, though the Suebians still maintained their independence in Galicia.

Euric was also the first king to give written laws to the Visigoths. In the following reigns the Catholic kings of France assumed the role of protectors of the Hispano-Roman Catholics against the Arianism of the Visigoths, and in the wars which ensued Alaric II and Amalaric lost their lives.

Athanagild , having risen against King Agila , called in the Byzantines and, in payment for the succour they gave him, ceded to them the maritime places of the southeast Liuvigild restored the political unity of the peninsula, subduing the Suebians, but the religious divisions of the country, reaching even the royal family, brought on a civil war.

Hermengild , the king's son, putting himself at the head of the Catholics, was defeated and taken prisoner, and suffered martyrdom for rejecting communion with the Arians.

Recared , son of Liuvigild and brother of St. Hermengild, added religious unity to the political unity achieved by his father, accepting the Catholic faith in the Third Council of Toledo The religious unity established by this council was the basis of that fusion of Goths with Hispano-Romans which produced the Spanish nation.

Sisebut and Suintila completed the expulsion of the Byzantines from Spain. Intermarriage between Visigoths and Hispano-Romans was prohibited, though in practice it could not be entirely prevented and was eventually legalised by Liuvigild.

Isidore was one of the most influential clerics and philosophers in the Middle Ages in Europe, and his theories were also vital to the conversion of the Visigothic Kingdom from an Arian domain to a Catholic one in the Councils of Toledo.

Isidore created the first western encyclopedia which had a huge impact during the Middle Ages. In the 8th century, nearly all of the Iberian Peninsula was conquered — by largely Moorish Muslim armies from North Africa.

These conquests were part of the expansion of the Umayyad Caliphate. Only a small area in the mountainous north-west of the peninsula managed to resist the initial invasion.

Legend has it that Count Julian , the governor of Ceuta, in revenge for the violation of his daughter, Florinda , by King Roderic , invited the Muslims and opened to them the gates of the peninsula.

Under Islamic law , Christians and Jews were given the subordinate status of dhimmi. This status permitted Christians and Jews to practice their religions as People of the Book but they were required to pay a special tax and had legal and social rights inferior to those of Muslims.

Conversion to Islam proceeded at an increasing pace. The Muslim community in the Iberian Peninsula was itself diverse and beset by social tensions.

The Berber people of North Africa, who had provided the bulk of the invading armies, clashed with the Arab leadership from the Middle East.

Mediterranean trade and cultural exchange flourished. Muslims imported a rich intellectual tradition from the Middle East and North Africa.

Some important philosophers at the time were Averroes , Ibn Arabi and Maimonides. The Romanised cultures of the Iberian Peninsula interacted with Muslim and Jewish cultures in complex ways, giving the region a distinctive culture.

In the 11th century, the Muslim holdings fractured into rival Taifa states Arab, Berber, and Slav , [39] allowing the small Christian states the opportunity to greatly enlarge their territories.

This re-united Islamic state experienced more than a century of successes that partially reversed Christian gains. The Reconquista Reconquest was the centuries-long period in which Christian rule was re-established over the Iberian Peninsula.

The Reconquista is viewed as beginning with the Battle of Covadonga won by Don Pelayo in and was concurrent with the period of Muslim rule on the Iberian Peninsula.

The Christian army's victory over Muslim forces led to the creation of the Christian Kingdom of Asturias along the northwestern coastal mountains. Shortly after, in , Muslim forces were driven from Galicia , which was to eventually host one of medieval Europe's holiest sites, Santiago de Compostela and was incorporated into the new Christian kingdom.

The Kingdom of Castile , formed from Leonese territory, was its successor as strongest kingdom. The kings and the nobility fought for power and influence in this period.

The example of the Roman emperors influenced the political objective of the Crown, while the nobles benefited from feudalism.

Muslim armies had also moved north of the Pyrenees but they were defeated by Frankish forces at the Battle of Poitiers , Frankia and pushed out of the very southernmost region of France along the seacoast by the s.

Later, Frankish forces established Christian counties on the southern side of the Pyrenees. These areas were to grow into the kingdoms of Navarre and Aragon.

The Islamic transmission of the classics is the main Islamic contributions to Medieval Europe. The Castilian language—more commonly known especially later in history and at present as "Spanish" after becoming the national language and lingua franca of Spain—evolved from Vulgar Latin , as did other Romance languages of Spain like the Catalan , Asturian and Galician languages, as well as other Romance languages in Latin Europe.

The break-up of Al-Andalus into the competing taifa kingdoms helped the long embattled Iberian Christian kingdoms gain the initiative.

The capture of the strategically central city of Toledo in marked a significant shift in the balance of power in favour of the Christian kingdoms.

The County of Barcelona and the Kingdom of Aragon entered in a dynastic union and gained territory and power in the Mediterranean. In Majorca was conquered, so was Valencia in In the 13th and 14th centuries, the Marinid dynasty of Morocco invaded and established some enclaves on the southern coast but failed in their attempt to re-establish North African rule in Iberia and were soon driven out.

From the mid 13th century, literature and philosophy started to flourish again in the Christian peninsular kingdoms, based on Roman and Gothic traditions.

An important philosopher from this time is Ramon Llull. Abraham Cresques was a prominent Jewish cartographer. Roman law and its institutions were the model for the legislators.

The king Alfonso X of Castile focused on strengthening this Roman and Gothic past, and also on linking the Iberian Christian kingdoms with the rest of medieval European Christendom.

Alfonso worked for being elected emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and published the Siete Partidas code. The Toledo School of Translators is the name that commonly describes the group of scholars who worked together in the city of Toledo during the 12th and 13th centuries, to translate many of the philosophical and scientific works from Classical Arabic , Ancient Greek , and Ancient Hebrew.

The 13th century also witnessed the Crown of Aragon , centred in Spain's north east, expand its reach across islands in the Mediterranean, to Sicily and Naples.

The Black Death of and devastated Spain. Having conquered these, they turned their arms against the Byzantines, who treacherously slew their leaders; but for this treachery the Spaniards, under Bernard of Rocafort and Berenguer of Entenca, exacted the terrible penalty celebrated in history as "The Catalan Vengeance" and moreover seized the Frankish Duchy of Athens As in the rest of Europe during the Late Middle Ages, Antisemitism greatly increased during the 14th century in the Christian kingdoms a key event in that regard was the Black Death, as Jews were accused of poisoning the waters.

In , Christian mobs went from town to town throughout Castile and Aragon, killing an estimated 50, Jews. According to Hasdai Crescas , about 70 Jewish communities were destroyed.

That same year, Spain's Jews were ordered to convert to Catholicism or face expulsion from Spanish territories during the Spanish Inquisition.

The Treaty of Granada guaranteed religious tolerance towards Muslims, [63] for a few years before Islam was outlawed in in the Kingdom of Castile and in the Kingdom of Aragon, leading to Spain's Muslim population becoming nominally Christian Moriscos.

A few decades after the Morisco rebellion of Granada known as the War of the Alpujarras , a significant proportion of Spain's formerly-Muslim population was expelled, settling primarily in North Africa.

The year also marked the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the New World , during a voyage funded by Isabella. Columbus's first voyage crossed the Atlantic and reached the Caribbean Islands, beginning the European exploration and conquest of the Americas, although Columbus remained convinced that he had reached the Orient.

Large numbers of indigenous Americans died in battle against the Spaniards during the conquest, [68] while others died from various other causes. Some scholars consider the initial period of the Spanish conquest — from Columbus's first landing in the Bahamas until the middle of the sixteenth century—as marking the most egregious case of genocide in the history of mankind.

Miscegenation was the rule between the native and the Spanish cultures and people. Juan Sebastian Elcano completed the first voyage around the world in human history, the Magellan-Elcano circumnavigation.

Augustine became a strategic defensive base for Spanish ships full of gold and silver sailing to Spain. The Spanish once again encountered Islam, but this time in Southeast Asia and in order to incorporate the Philippines , Spanish expeditions organised from newly Christianised Mexico had invaded the Philippine territories of the Sultanate of Brunei.

The Spanish considered the war with the Muslims of Brunei and the Philippines , a repeat of the Reconquista. The unification of the crowns of Aragon and Castile by the marriage of their sovereigns laid the basis for modern Spain and the Spanish Empire, although each kingdom of Spain remained a separate country socially, politically, legally, and in currency and language.

There were two big revolts against the new Habsburg monarch and the more authoritarian and imperial-style crown: Revolt of the Comuneros in Castile and Revolt of the Brotherhoods in Majorca and Valencia.

Germana de Foix also finished with the revolt in the Mediterranean. Habsburg Spain was one of the leading world powers throughout the 16th century and most of the 17th century, a position reinforced by trade and wealth from colonial possessions and became the world's leading maritime power.

Through exploration and conquest or royal marriage alliances and inheritance, the Spanish Empire expanded to include vast areas in the Americas, islands in the Asia-Pacific area, areas of Italy, cities in Northern Africa, as well as parts of what are now France, Germany, Belgium , Luxembourg , and the Netherlands.

The first circumnavigation of the world was carried out in — It was the first empire on which it was said that the sun never set.

This was an Age of Discovery , with daring explorations by sea and by land, the opening-up of new trade routes across oceans, conquests and the beginnings of European colonialism.

Spanish explorers brought back precious metals , spices, luxuries, and previously unknown plants, and played a leading part in transforming the European understanding of the globe.

The expansion of the empire caused immense upheaval in the Americas as the collapse of societies and empires and new diseases from Europe devastated American indigenous populations.

The rise of humanism , the Counter-Reformation and new geographical discoveries and conquests raised issues that were addressed by the intellectual movement now known as the School of Salamanca , which developed the first modern theories of what are now known as international law and human rights.

Juan Luis Vives was another prominent humanist during this period. Spain's 16th century maritime supremacy was demonstrated by the victory over the Ottomans at Lepanto in , and then after the setback of the Spanish Armada in , in a series of victories against England in the Anglo-Spanish War of — However, during the middle decades of the 17th century Spain's maritime power went into a long decline with mounting defeats against the United Provinces and then England; that by the s it was struggling grimly to defend its overseas possessions from pirates and privateers.

The Protestant Reformation dragged the kingdom ever more deeply into the mire of religiously charged wars.

The result was a country forced into ever expanding military efforts across Europe and in the Mediterranean.

These conflicts drained it of resources and undermined the economy generally. Spain managed to hold on to most of the scattered Habsburg empire , and help the imperial forces of the Holy Roman Empire reverse a large part of the advances made by Protestant forces, but it was finally forced to recognise the separation of Portugal and the United Provinces, and eventually suffered some serious military reverses to France in the latter stages of the immensely destructive, Europe-wide Thirty Years' War.

The decline culminated in a controversy over succession to the throne which consumed the first years of the 18th century. The War of the Spanish Succession was a wide-ranging international conflict combined with a civil war, and was to cost the kingdom its European possessions and its position as one of the leading powers on the Continent.

Long united only by the Crown, a true Spanish state was established when the first Bourbon king, Philip V , united the crowns of Castile and Aragon into a single state, abolishing many of the old regional privileges and laws.

The 18th century saw a gradual recovery and an increase in prosperity through much of the empire. The new Bourbon monarchy drew on the French system of modernising the administration and the economy.

Enlightenment ideas began to gain ground among some of the kingdom's elite and monarchy. Bourbon reformers created formal disciplined militias across the Atlantic.

Spain needed every hand it could take during the seemingly endless wars of the eighteenth century—the Spanish War of Succession or Queen Anne's War —13 , the War of Jenkins' Ear —42 which became the War of the Austrian Succession —48 , the Seven Years' War —63 and the Anglo-Spanish War —83 —and its new disciplined militias served around the Atlantic as needed.

In , Spain went to war against the revolutionary new French Republic as a member of the first Coalition. The subsequent War of the Pyrenees polarised the country in a reaction against the gallicised elites and following defeat in the field, peace was made with France in at the Peace of Basel in which Spain lost control over two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola.

In , a secret treaty between Napoleon and the unpopular prime minister led to a new declaration of war against Britain and Portugal.

Napoleon's troops entered the country to invade Portugal but instead occupied Spain's major fortresses. The Spanish king abdicated in favour of Napoleon's brother, Joseph Bonaparte.

Joseph Bonaparte was seen as a puppet monarch and was regarded with scorn by the Spanish. The 2 May revolt was one of many nationalist uprisings across the country against the Bonapartist regime.

Napoleon was forced to intervene personally, defeating several Spanish armies and forcing a British army to retreat. However, further military action by Spanish armies, guerrillas and Wellington's British-Portuguese forces, combined with Napoleon's disastrous invasion of Russia , led to the ousting of the French imperial armies from Spain in , and the return of King Ferdinand VII.

These events foreshadowed the conflict between conservatives and liberals in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Spain's conquest by France benefited Latin American anti-colonialists who resented the Imperial Spanish government's policies that favoured Spanish-born citizens Peninsulars over those born overseas Criollos and demanded retroversion of the sovereignty to the people.

Starting in Spain's American colonies began a series of revolutions and declared independence, leading to the Spanish American wars of independence that ended Spanish control over its mainland colonies in the Americas.

King Ferdinand VII's attempt to re-assert control proved futile as he faced opposition not only in the colonies but also in Spain and army revolts followed, led by liberal officers.

The Napoleonic War left Spain economically ruined, deeply divided and politically unstable. Isabelline forces prevailed, but the conflict between progressives and moderates ended in a weak early constitutional period.

In the late 19th century nationalist movements arose in the Philippines and Cuba. In and the Cuban War of Independence and the Philippine Revolution broke out and eventually the United States became involved.

The Spanish—American War was fought in the spring of and resulted in Spain losing the last of its once vast colonial empire outside of North Africa.

El Desastre the Disaster , as the war became known in Spain, gave added impetus to the Generation of '98 who were conducting an analysis of the country.

Although the period around the turn of the century was one of increasing prosperity, the 20th century brought little social peace; Spain played a minor part in the scramble for Africa , with the colonisation of Western Sahara , Spanish Morocco and Equatorial Guinea.

The heavy losses suffered during the Rif War in Morocco brought discredit to the government and undermined the monarchy. Industrialisation, the development of rail-ways and incipient capitalism developed in several areas of the country, particularly in Barcelona , as well as Labour movement and socialist and anarchist ideas.

In , Spanish Socialist Workers' Party is founded. Catalanism and vasquism, alongside other nationalisms and regionalisms in Spain, arose in that period, being the Basque Nationalist Party formed in and Regionalist League of Catalonia in Political corruption and repression weakened the democratic system of the constitutional monarchy of a two-parties system.

The La Canadiense strike in led to the first law limiting the working day to eight hours. These gave a resounding victory to the Republican-Socialist candidacies in large cities and provincial capitals, with a majority of monarchist councilors in rural areas.

The king left the country and the proclamation of the Republic on 14 April ensued, with the formation of a provisional government.

In the election held in the right triumphed and in , the left. During the Second Republic there was a great political and social upheaval, marked by a sharp radicalization of the left and the right.

On the other hand, it is also during the Second Republic when important reforms in order to modernize the country were initiated: a democratic constitution, agrarian reform, restructuring of the army, political decentralization and women's right to vote.

The situation led to a civil war, in which the territory was divided into two zones: one under the authority of the Republican government , that counted on outside support from the Soviet Union and Mexico and from International Brigades , and the other controlled by the putschists the Nationalist or rebel faction , most critically supported by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.

The Republic was not supported by the Western powers due to the British-led policy of non-intervention. General Francisco Franco was sworn in as the supreme leader of the rebels in the Autumn of An uneasy relation between the Republican government and the grassroots anarchists who had initiated a partial Social revolution also ensued.

The civil war was viciously fought and there were many atrocities committed by all sides. The war claimed the lives of over , people and caused the flight of up to a half-million citizens from the country.

The regime remained chiefly "neutral" from a nominal standpoint in the Second World War it briefly switched its position to "non-belligerent" , although it was sympathetic to the Axis and provided the Nazi Wehrmacht with Spanish volunteers in the Eastern Front.

The name of " Movimiento Nacional ", sometimes understood as a wider structure than the FET y de las JONS proper, largely imposed over the later's name in official documents along the s.

This changed in , during the Cold War period, when it became strategically important for the US to establish a military presence on the Iberian Peninsula as a counter to any possible move by the Soviet Union into the Mediterranean basin.

In the s, Spain registered an unprecedented rate of economic growth which was propelled by industrialisation , a mass internal migration from rural areas to Madrid , Barcelona and the Basque Country and the creation of a mass tourism industry.

Franco's rule was also characterised by authoritarianism , promotion of a unitary national identity , National Catholicism , and discriminatory language policies.

The conventional explosives in two of the Mk28 -type hydrogen bombs detonated upon impact with the ground, dispersing plutonium over nearby farms. In , a group of politicians involved in the opposition to Franco's regime inside the country and in exile met in the congress of the European Movement in Munich, where they made a resolution in favour of democracy.

With Franco's death in November , Juan Carlos succeeded to the position of King of Spain and head of state in accordance with the franquist law.

With the approval of the new Spanish Constitution of and the restoration of democracy , the State devolved much authority to the regions and created an internal organisation based on autonomous communities.

The Spanish Amnesty Law let people of Franco's regime continue inside institutions without consequences, even perpetrators of some crimes during transition to democracy like the Massacre of 3 March in Vitoria or Massacre of Atocha.

In the Basque Country, moderate Basque nationalism coexisted with a radical nationalist movement led by the armed organisation ETA until the latter's dissolution in May On 23 February , rebel elements among the security forces seized the Cortes in an attempt to impose a military-backed government.

King Juan Carlos took personal command of the military and successfully ordered the coup plotters, via national television, to surrender.

During the s the democratic restoration made possible a growing open society. On 1 January , Spain fully adopted the euro , and Spain experienced strong economic growth, well above the EU average during the early s.

However, well-publicised concerns issued by many economic commentators at the height of the boom warned that extraordinary property prices and a high foreign trade deficit were likely to lead to a painful economic collapse.

In the Prestige oil spill occurred with big ecological consequences along Spain's Atlantic coastline. Bush in the Iraq War , and a strong movement against war rose in Spanish society.

On 11 March a local Islamist terrorist group inspired by Al-Qaeda carried out the largest terrorist attack in Spanish history when they killed people and wounded more than 1, others by bombing commuter trains in Madrid.

Because of the proximity of the election , the issue of responsibility quickly became a political controversy, with the main competing parties PP and PSOE exchanging accusations over the handling of the incident.

The proportion of Spain's foreign born population increased rapidly during its economic boom in the early s, but then declined due to the financial crisis.

Government talks with ETA happened, and the group announced its permanent cease of violence in The bursting of the Spanish property bubble in led to the —16 Spanish financial crisis.

High levels of unemployment, cuts in government spending and corruption in Royal family and People's Party served as a backdrop to the —12 Spanish protests.

In , Mariano Rajoy 's conservative People's Party won the election with A Catalan independence referendum was held on 1 October and then, on 27 October, the Catalan parliament voted to unilaterally declare independence from Spain to form a Catalan Republic [] [] on the day the Spanish Senate was discussing approving direct rule over Catalonia as called for by the Spanish Prime Minister.

On 25 March, the death toll in Spain was the second highest in the world. Mount Teide Tenerife is the highest mountain peak in Spain and is the third largest volcano in the world from its base.

Spain is a transcontinental country , having territory in both Europe and Africa. On the northeast, along the Pyrenees mountain range, it is bordered by France and the Principality of Andorra.

Mainland Spain is a mountainous country, dominated by high plateaus and mountain chains. The Meseta Central often translated as "Inner Plateau" is a vast plateau in the heart of peninsular Spain.

Alluvial plains are found along the coast, the largest of which is that of the Guadalquivir in Andalusia. Three main climatic zones can be separated, according to geographical situation and orographic conditions: [] [] [].

Low-lying areas of the Canary Islands average above The fauna presents a wide diversity that is due in large part to the geographical position of the Iberian peninsula between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean and between Africa and Eurasia , and the great diversity of habitats and biotopes , the result of a considerable variety of climates and well differentiated regions.

The vegetation of Spain is varied due to several factors including the diversity of the relief, the climate and latitude.

Spain includes different phytogeographic regions, each with its own floristic characteristics resulting largely from the interaction of climate, topography, soil type and fire, biotic factors.

The Spanish Constitution of is the culmination of the Spanish transition to democracy. The constitutional history of Spain dates back to the constitution of As a result, Spain is now composed of 17 autonomous communities and two autonomous cities with varying degrees of autonomy thanks to its Constitution, which nevertheless explicitly states the indivisible unity of the Spanish nation.

The constitution also specifies that Spain has no state religion and that all are free to practice and believe as they wish.

The Spanish administration approved the Gender Equality Act in aimed at furthering equality between genders in Spanish political and economic life.

Spain is a constitutional monarchy , with a hereditary monarch and a bicameral parliament , the Cortes Generales General Courts. The legislative branch is made up of the Congress of Deputies Congreso de los Diputados , a lower house with members, elected by popular vote on block lists by proportional representation to serve four-year terms, and the Senate Senado , an upper house with seats of which are directly elected by popular vote, using a limited voting method, and the other 51 appointed by the regional legislatures to also serve four-year terms.

The executive branch consists of a Council of Ministers presided over by the Prime Minister, who is nominated as candidate by the monarch after holding consultations with representatives from the different parliamentary groups, voted in by the members of the lower house during an investiture session and then formally appointed by the monarch.

The Prime Minister, deputy prime ministers and the rest of ministers convene at the Council of Ministers. Health and education systems among others are managed by the Spanish communities, and in addition, the Basque Country and Navarre also manage their own public finances based on foral provisions.

The Spanish Constitution of "protect all Spaniards and all the peoples of Spain in the exercise of human rights, their cultures and traditions, languages and institutions".

According to Amnesty International AI , government investigations of alleged police abuses are often lengthy and punishments were light.

Spain provides one of the highest degrees of liberty in the world for its LGBT community. The Spanish State is divided into 17 autonomous communities and 2 autonomous cities, both groups being the highest or first-order administrative division in the country.

Autonomous communities are divided into provinces, of which there are 50 in total, and in turn, provinces are divided into municipalities.

In Catalonia, two additional divisions exist, the comarques sing. The concept of a comarca exists in all autonomous communities, however, unlike Catalonia, these are merely historical or geographical subdivisions.

Spain's autonomous communities are the first level administrative divisions of the country. They were created after the current constitution came into effect in in recognition of the right to self-government of the " nationalities and regions of Spain ".

This territorial organisation, based on devolution , is literally known in Spain as the "State of Autonomies". The basic institutional law of each autonomous community is the Statute of Autonomy.

The Statutes of Autonomy establish the name of the community according to its historical and contemporary identity, the limits of its territories, the name and organisation of the institutions of government and the rights they enjoy according to the constitution.

Catalonia, Galicia and the Basque Country, which identified themselves as nationalities , were granted self-government through a rapid process.

Andalusia also took that denomination in its first Statute of Autonomy, even though it followed the longer process stipulated in the constitution for the rest of the country.

Progressively, other communities in revisions to their Statutes of Autonomy have also taken that denomination in accordance to their historical and modern identities, such as the Valencian Community, [] the Canary Islands, [] the Balearic Islands, [] and Aragon.

The autonomous communities have wide legislative and executive autonomy, with their own parliaments and regional governments.

The distribution of powers may be different for every community, as laid out in their Statutes of Autonomy, since devolution was intended to be asymmetrical.

Only two communities—the Basque Country and Navarre—have full fiscal autonomy. Beyond fiscal autonomy, the nationalities —Andalusia, the Basque Country, Catalonia, and Galicia—were devolved more powers than the rest of the communities, among them the ability of the regional president to dissolve the parliament and call for elections at any time.

Nonetheless, recent amendments to existing Statutes of Autonomy or the promulgation of new Statutes altogether, have reduced the asymmetry between the powers originally granted to the nationalities and the rest of the regions.

Finally, along with the 17 autonomous communities, two autonomous cities are also part of the State of Autonomies and are first-order territorial divisions: Ceuta and Melilla.

These are two exclaves located in the northern African coast. Autonomous communities are divided into provinces , which served as their territorial building blocks.

In turn, provinces are divided into municipalities. The existence of both the provinces and the municipalities is guaranteed and protected by the constitution, not necessarily by the Statutes of Autonomy themselves.

Municipalities are granted autonomy to manage their internal affairs, and provinces are the territorial divisions designed to carry out the activities of the State.

The current provincial division structure is based—with minor changes—on the territorial division by Javier de Burgos , and in all, the Spanish territory is divided into 50 provinces.

The communities of Asturias, Cantabria, La Rioja, the Balearic Islands, Madrid, Murcia and Navarre are the only communities that comprise a single province, which is coextensive with the community itself.

In these cases, the administrative institutions of the province are replaced by the governmental institutions of the community.

After the return of democracy following the death of Franco in , Spain's foreign policy priorities were to break out of the diplomatic isolation of the Franco years and expand diplomatic relations , enter the European Community , and define security relations with the West.

As a member of NATO since , Spain has established itself as a participant in multilateral international security activities.

Spain's EU membership represents an important part of its foreign policy. Even on many international issues beyond western Europe, Spain prefers to co-ordinate its efforts with its EU partners through the European political co-operation mechanisms.

Spain has maintained its special relations with Hispanic America and the Philippines. Its policy emphasises the concept of an Ibero-American community, essentially the renewal of the concept of " Hispanidad " or " Hispanismo " , as it is often referred to in English, which has sought to link the Iberian Peninsula with Hispanic America through language, commerce, history and culture.

It is fundamentally "based on shared values and the recovery of democracy. Spain claims Gibraltar , a 6-square-kilometre 2.

Then a Spanish town, it was conquered by an Anglo-Dutch force in during the War of the Spanish Succession on behalf of Archduke Charles , pretender to the Spanish throne.

The legal situation concerning Gibraltar was settled in by the Treaty of Utrecht , in which Spain ceded the territory in perpetuity to the British Crown [] stating that, should the British abandon this post, it would be offered to Spain first.

Since the s Spain has called for the return of Gibraltar. The overwhelming majority of Gibraltarians strongly oppose this, along with any proposal of shared sovereignty.

The Spanish claim makes a distinction between the isthmus that connects the Rock to the Spanish mainland on the one hand, and the Rock and city of Gibraltar on the other.

While the Rock and city were ceded by the Treaty of Utrecht, Spain asserts that the "occupation of the isthmus is illegal and against the principles of International Law ".

Another claim by Spain is about the Savage Islands , part of Portugal. In clash with the Portuguese position, Spain claims that they are rocks rather than islands, and therefore Spain does not accept any extension of the Portuguese Exclusive Economic Zone nautical miles generated by the islands, while acknowledging the Selvagens having territorial waters 12 nautical miles.

On 5 July , Spain sent a letter to the UN expressing these views. Spain claims the sovereignty over the Perejil Island , a small, uninhabited rocky islet located in the South shore of the Strait of Gibraltar.

Its sovereignty is disputed between Spain and Morocco. It was the subject of an armed incident between the two countries in The incident ended when both countries agreed to return to the status quo ante which existed prior to the Moroccan occupation of the island.

The islet is now deserted and without any sign of sovereignty. Portugal does not recognise Spain's sovereignty over the territory of Olivenza which was annexed by Spain in after the War of the Oranges.

Portugal stance has been the territory being de iure Portuguese territory and de facto Spanish. The Spanish Armed Forces are divided into three branches: [].

Military conscription was suppressed in Since , CO2 emissions have risen notably, not reaching the reduction emissions promised in the Kyoto Protocol for fighting climate change.

In the period — more than half of the years have been qualified as dry or very dry. Spain is the country in Europe more exposed to climate change effects, according to Al Gore.

Electricity from renewable sources in Spain represented The country has a very large wind power capability built up over many years and is one of the world leaders in wind power generation.

Spain also positioned itself as a European leader in Solar power, by — the country was second only to Germany in installed capacity.

Spain's capitalist mixed economy is the 14th largest worldwide and the 5th largest in the European Union , as well as the Eurozone 's 4th largest.

Unemployment stood at By the mids the economy had commenced the growth that had been disrupted by the global recession of the early s.

The strong economic growth helped the government to reduce the government debt as a percentage of GDP and Spain's high unemployment rate began to steadily decline.

With the government budget in balance and inflation under control Spain was admitted into the Eurozone in Since the s some Spanish companies have gained multinational status, often expanding their activities in culturally close Latin America.

Spain is the second biggest foreign investor there, after the United States. Spanish companies have also expanded into Asia, especially China and India.

The reason for this early expansion is the booming interest towards Spanish language and culture in Asia and Africa and a corporate culture that learned to take risks in unstable markets.

In the Economist Intelligence Unit 's quality of life survey placed Spain among the top 10 in the world. The automotive industry is one of the largest employers in the country.

In Spain was the 8th largest automobile producer country in the world and the 2nd largest car manufacturer in Europe after Germany.

By , the automotive industry was generating 8. Crop areas were farmed in two highly diverse manners. They included the humid regions of the north and the northwest, as well as vast arid zones that had not been irrigated.

More than half of the irrigated area was planted in corn , fruit trees , and vegetables. Other agricultural products that benefited from irrigation included grapes, cotton, sugar beets , potatoes, legumes , olive trees , mangos, strawberries , tomatoes, and fodder grasses.

Citrus fruits , vegetables, cereal grains , olive oil , and wine—Spain's traditional agricultural products—continued to be important in the s.

Because of the changed diet of an increasingly affluent population, there was a notable increase in the consumption of livestock, poultry, and dairy products.

Increased attention to livestock was the reason that Spain became a net importer of grains. Ideal growing conditions, combined with proximity to important north European markets, made citrus fruits Spain's leading export.

Fresh vegetables and fruits produced through intensive irrigation farming also became important export commodities, as did sunflower seed oil that was produced to compete with the more expensive olive oils in oversupply throughout the Mediterranean countries of the European Community.

In , Spain was the second most visited country in the world, recording 82 million tourists which marked the fifth consecutive year of record-beating numbers.

Spain's geographic location, popular coastlines, diverse landscapes, historical legacy, vibrant culture, and excellent infrastructure has made the country's international tourist industry among the largest in the world.

Castile and Leon is the Spanish leader in rural tourism linked to its environmental and architectural heritage. Spain is one of the world's leading countries in the development and production of renewable energy.

Non-renewable energy sources used in Spain are nuclear 8 operative reactors , gas , coal , and oil. Spain has the most extensive high-speed rail network in Europe, and the second-most extensive in the world after China.

There are 47 public airports in Spain. Also, more than 30 airports with the number of passengers below 4 million.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, science in Spain was held back by severe political instability and consequent economic underdevelopment.

Despite the conditions, some important scientists and engineers emerged. It ranked as the 5th top governmental scientific institution worldwide and 32nd overall in the SCImago Institutions Rankings.

Since , the Mobile World Congress has taken place in Barcelona. With the exception of the region surrounding the capital, Madrid , the most populated areas lie around the coast.

In , the average total fertility rate TFR across Spain was 1. In , Spain granted citizenship to 84, persons, mostly to people from Ecuador, Colombia and Morocco.

They reside primarily on the Mediterranean coast and the Balearic islands, where many choose to live their retirement or telecommute. Substantial populations descended from Spanish colonists and immigrants exist in other parts of the world, most notably in Latin America.

Beginning in the late 15th century, large numbers of Iberian colonists settled in what became Latin America and at present most white Latin Americans who make up about one-third of Latin America's population are of Spanish or Portuguese origin.

Around , Spaniards emigrated in the 16th century, mostly to Peru and Mexico. During the same period perhaps , went to Latin America.

The Spanish Constitution of , in its second article, recognises several contemporary entities — nationalities — [m] and regions, within the context of the Spanish nation.

Spain has been described as a de facto plurinational state. In some cases some of the territorial identities may conflict with the dominant Spanish culture.

Distinct traditional identities within Spain include the Basques , Catalans , Galicians , Andalusians and Valencians , [] although to some extent all of the 17 autonomous communities may claim a distinct local identity.

It is this last feature of "shared identity" between the more local level or autonomous community and the Spanish level which makes the identity question in Spain complex and far from univocal.

Spain has a number of descendants of populations from former colonies, especially Latin America and North Africa. Smaller numbers of immigrants from several Sub-Saharan countries have recently been settling in Spain.

There are also sizeable numbers of Asian immigrants, most of whom are of Middle Eastern, South Asian and Chinese origin. The single largest group of immigrants are European; represented by large numbers of Romanians, Britons, Germans , French and others.

The arrival of the gitanos , a Romani people , began in the 16th century; estimates of the Spanish Roma population range from , to over one million.

Their origin is unclear. Historically, Sephardi Jews and Moriscos are the main minority groups originated in Spain and with a contribution to Spanish culture.

According to the Spanish government there were 5. According to residence permit data for , more than , were Romanian, about , were Moroccan , approximately , were British, and , were Ecuadorian.

This sudden and ongoing inflow of immigrants, particularly those arriving illegally by sea, has caused noticeable social tension. Within the EU, Spain had the 2nd highest immigration rate in percentage terms after Cyprus , but by a great margin, the highest in absolute numbers, up to Another statistically significant factor is the large number of residents of EU origin typically retiring to Spain's Mediterranean coast.

In fact, Spain was Europe's largest absorber of migrants from to , with its immigrant population more than doubling as 2. In , the government instituted a "Plan of Voluntary Return" which encouraged unemployed immigrants from outside the EU to return to their home countries and receive several incentives, including the right to keep their unemployment benefits and transfer whatever they contributed to the Spanish Social Security.

In alone, more than half a million people left Spain. Spain is legally multilingual, [] and the constitution establishes that the nation will protect "all Spaniards and the peoples of Spain in the exercise of human rights, their cultures and traditions, languages and institutions.

The constitution also establishes that "the other Spanish languages"—that is, the other languages of Spain—will also be official in their respective autonomous communities in accordance to their Statutes , their organic regional legislations, and that the "richness of the distinct linguistic modalities of Spain represents a patrimony which will be the object of special respect and protection.

Occitan is spoken by less than 5, people, only in the small region of Val d'Aran. In the North African Spanish autonomous city of Melilla , Riff Berber is spoken by a significant part of the population.

Similarly, in Ceuta Darija Arabic is spoken by a significant percentage of the population. In the tourist areas of the Mediterranean coast and the islands, English and German are widely spoken by tourists, foreign residents, and tourism workers.

State education in Spain is free and compulsory from the age of six to sixteen. The institute was inspired by the philosophy of Krausism.

The health care system of Spain Spanish National Health System is considered one of the best in the world, in 7th position in the ranking elaborated by the World Health Organization.

Roman Catholicism , which has a long history in Spain, remains the dominant religion. Although it no longer has official status by law, in all public schools in Spain students have to choose either a religion or ethics class.

Catholicism is the religion most commonly taught, although the teaching of Islam, [] Judaism, [] and evangelical Christianity [] is also recognised in law.

Most Spaniards do not participate regularly in religious services. The Spanish constitution enshrines secularism in governance, as well as freedom of religion or belief for all, saying that no religion should have a "state character," while allowing for the state to "cooperate" with religious groups.

There have been four Spanish Popes. Later, they became Doctors of the Church. The Society of Jesus was co-founded by Ignatius of Loyola , whose Spiritual Exercises and movement led to the establishment of hundreds of colleges and universities in the world, including 28 in the United States alone.

Protestant churches have about 1,, members. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has approximately 46, adherents in congregations in all regions of the country and has a temple in the Moratalaz District of Madrid.

The vast majority was composed of immigrants and descendants originating from Morocco and other African countries.

The recent waves of immigration have also led to an increasing number of Hindus , Buddhists , Sikhs and Muslims. After the Reconquista in , Muslims did not live in Spain for centuries.

Late 19th-century colonial expansion in northwestern Africa gave a number of residents in Spanish Morocco and Western Sahara full citizenship.

Their ranks have since been bolstered by recent immigration, especially from Morocco and Algeria.

Judaism was practically non-existent in Spain from the expulsion until the 19th century, when Jews were again permitted to enter the country.

Currently there are around 62, Jews in Spain, or 0. Most are arrivals in the past century, while some are descendants of earlier Spanish Jews.

Approximately 80, Jews are thought to have lived in Spain prior to its expulsion. Other sources suggest , converts mostly after the pogroms of and upwards of , expelled.

Descendants of these Sephardic Jews expelled in are given Spanish nationality if they request it. Spain is a Western country. Almost every aspect of Spanish life is permeated by its Roman heritage, making Spain one of the major Latin countries of Europe.

Spanish culture is marked by strong historic ties to Catholicism, which played a pivotal role in the country's formation and subsequent identity.

Spanish art, architecture, cuisine, and music have been shaped by successive waves of foreign invaders, as well as by the country's Mediterranean climate and geography.

The centuries-long colonial era globalised Spanish language and culture, with Spain also absorbing the cultural and commercial products of its diverse empire.

Spain has 47 World Heritage Sites. The earliest recorded examples of vernacular Romance-based literature date from the same time and location, the rich mix of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian cultures in Muslim Spain, in which Maimonides, Averroes, and others worked, the Kharjas Jarchas.

During the Reconquista , the epic poem Cantar de Mio Cid was written about a real man—his battles, conquests, and daily life.

The Valencian chivalric romance Tirant lo Blanch written in Valencian is also remarkable. The Baroque is the most important period for Spanish culture.

We are in the times of the Spanish Empire. Realism offered depictions of contemporary life and society 'as they were'.

In the spirit of general "Realism", Realist authors opted for depictions of everyday and banal activities and experiences, instead of romanticised or stylised presentations.

The group that has become known as the Generation of was marked by the destruction of Spain's fleet in Cuba by US gunboats in , which provoked a cultural crisis in Spain.

The "Disaster" of led established writers to seek practical political, economic, and social solutions in essays grouped under the literary heading of Regeneracionismo.

The Generation of or Novecentismo. The next supposed "generation" of Spanish writers following those of '98 already calls into question the value of such terminology.

While still driven by the national and existential questions that obsessed the writers of '98, they approached these topics with a greater sense of distance and objectivity.

Salvador de Madariaga , another prominent intellectual and writer, was one of the founders of the College of Europe and the composer of the constitutive manifest of the Liberal International.

All were scholars of their national literary heritage, again evidence of the impact of the calls of regeneracionistas and the Generation of for Spanish intelligence to turn at least partially inwards.

Spain is one of the countries with the most number of laureates with the Nobel Prize in Literature , and with Latin American laureates they made the Spanish language literature one of the most laureates of all.

Saramago was also well known by his Iberist ideas. The Generation of '50 are also known as the children of the civil war. Seneca was a philosopher residing in Spain during the time of the Roman Empire.

During the period of Muslim rule in Al-Andalus , Muslim, Jewish and Christian philosophies flourished, including the works of such philosophers such as Ibn Arabi , Averroes and Maimonides.

The Enlightenment in Spain arrived later and was less strong than in other European countries, but during the XIX century liberal ideas arrived in Spanish society.

At the end of the century, socialist and libertarian ideas also flourished, with thinkers such as Francisco Pi i Margall , Ricardo Mella and Francisco Ferrer Guardia.

Contemporary philosophers include Fernando Savater and Adela Cortina , creator of the term aporophobia.

Artists from Spain have been highly influential in the development of various European and American artistic movements. Due to historical, geographical and generational diversity, Spanish art has known a great number of influences.

The Mediterranean heritage with Greco-Roman and some Moorish and influences in Spain, especially in Andalusia , is still evident today.

There are many other autochthonous styles such as the Pre-Romanesque art and architecture , Herrerian architecture or the Isabelline Gothic. Francisco Goya painted during a historical period that includes the Spanish Independence War , the fights between liberals and absolutists, and the rise of contemporary nations-states.

The Plateresque style extended from beginnings of the 16th century until the last third of the century and its stylistic influence pervaded the works of all great Spanish artists of the time.

Spanish cinema has achieved major international success including Oscars for recent films such as Pan's Labyrinth and Volver.

Due to its historical and geographical diversity, Spanish architecture has drawn from a host of influences. Simultaneously, the Christian kingdoms gradually emerged and developed their own styles; developing a pre-Romanesque style when for a while isolated from contemporary mainstream European architectural influences during the earlier Middle Ages, they later integrated the Romanesque and Gothic streams.

There was then an extraordinary flowering of the Gothic style that resulted in numerous instances being built throughout the entire territory. The arrival of Modernism in the academic arena produced much of the architecture of the 20th century.

Spain is currently experiencing a revolution in contemporary architecture and Spanish architects like Rafael Moneo , Santiago Calatrava , Ricardo Bofill as well as many others have gained worldwide renown.

Spanish music is often considered abroad to be synonymous with flamenco , a West Andalusian musical genre, which, contrary to popular belief, is not widespread outside that region.

Pop, rock, hip hop and heavy metal are also popular. Vitoria-Gasteiz jazz festival is one of the main ones on its genre.

The most popular traditional musical instrument , the guitar, originated in Spain. Cibeles Madrid Fashion Week is one of the most important fashion weeks in Europe.

Spanish cuisine consists of a great variety of dishes which stem from differences in geography, culture and climate.

It is heavily influenced by seafood available from the waters that surround the country, and reflects the country's deep Mediterranean roots. Spain's extensive history with many cultural influences has led to a unique cuisine.

In particular, three main divisions are easily identified:. Food is traditionally conserved by salting, such as Spanish ham , or immersed in olive oil , such as Manchego cheese.

Atlantic Spain — the whole Northern coast, including Asturian , Basque , Cantabrian and Galician cuisine — vegetable and fish-based stews like caldo gallego and marmitako.

While varieties of football have been played in Spain as far back as Roman times, sport in Spain has been dominated by football since the early 20th century.

Real Madrid C. Basketball , tennis , cycling, handball , futsal , motorcycling and, lately, Formula One also can boast of Spanish champions.

Today, Spain is a major world sports powerhouse, especially since the Summer Olympics that were hosted in Barcelona , which stimulated a great deal of interest in sports in the country.

The tourism industry has led to an improvement in sports infrastructure, especially for water sports , golf and skiing.

In their respective regions, the traditional games of Basque pelota and Valencian pilota both are popular.

Public holidays celebrated in Spain include a mix of religious Roman Catholic , national and regional observances.

Each municipality is allowed to declare a maximum of 14 public holidays per year; up to nine of these are chosen by the national government and at least two are chosen locally.

There are many festivals and festivities in Spain.

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